Western NY Fishing Report
May 3 to May 10, 2013
Lake Ontario and Tributaries
The nearshore zone of Lake Ontario is providing good trout and salmon action. Trollers are catching a mix of brown trout, lake trout and coho salmon inside 50 feet of water on spoons and stickbaits. Browns are still hitting inside 20 feet of water at first light. Anglers working the 60-100 foot zone are catching the occasional king salmon on spoons run near the middle of the water column. Spoons run near the bottom produce good catches of fat lake trout.
Coho salmon have yet to show in numbers on the Niagara Bar. Instead, anglers report good lake trout action on the bar, outside of the green buoy. Drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and Kwikfish lure works well.
The steelhead run is all but over on the Ontario tributaries. There are likely some steelhead still hanging around in Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek and the Genesee River. Creek anglers now stand a better chance of catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish and northern pike. The lower, slow moving sections of the creeks are good spots to target pike when the season opens on Saturday.
Lake Ontario Harbors & Piers
Anglers still have good opportunity to catch brown trout and coho salmon from the piers at Wilson Harbor, Olcott Harbor, Oak Orchard and the Genesee River. Casting spoons or fishing a minnow under a float are good bets. Harbor areas are holding a mix of bass, sunfish and northern pike. Emerald shiners work well for perch, rock bass and bluegill. Large shiners and stickbaits are good bets for pike when the season opens on Saturday. Bass fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only.
Lower Niagara River
Because of the cold waters sent down by Lake Erie, the trout "run" in the lower river lasts through May. The trout bite has been good lately and anglers report a mix of steelhead and lake trout with the occasional brown trout mixed in. Boaters normally drift with live minnows, egg sacs or Kwikfish lures on a three-way bottom bounding rig. Shore anglers can target trout from Whirlpool, Devils Hole and Artpark State Parks. Live emerald shiners, salted shiners or egg sacs fished under a float work well. Trout will also take egg flies, trout beads, jigs, spoons and spinners. The smelt run is tapering off with only small, inconsistent waves of smelt showing at night along the shoreline at Artpark State Park and Lewison Landing.
The fishing pier at the base of the New York Power Authority's Robert Moses Power Plant has opened for the season. Parking is available near the pier and at the top of the hill next to the roadway that provides access to the pier. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.
Inland Trout Streams
The area trout streams are in good shape with moderate to slightly lower flows. Hendricksons are the main hatch right now with a smattering of blue-winged olives, stoneflies and caddisflies. Match the hatch with the appropriate dry fly or nymph. Small streamers and buggers work also. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook.
Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams.
Spring Trout Stocking
DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout in western New York. In addition, many of the popular trout streams also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For complete lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout stocked, check the 2013 Spring Trout Stocking pages. The DEC has stocked all of region 8 and region 9 trout stocking waters with at least their first stocking increment. The following waters will receive an additional stocking between 5/6 and 5/10:
Allegany County: Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Allen Lake (Allen), Dodge Creek (Clarksville).
Cattaraugus County: Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Forks Creek (Great Valley), Elton Creek (Freedom).
Wyoming County: Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), Buffalo Creek (Java), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Cattaraugus Creek (Java).